Tag Archives: unpopular names

The Best Mid-Popular Names!

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It’s been an exciting week in the Name World as the United States Social Security Administration just released the list of the most popular baby names. I’ll add a link to my video chatting about the popularity at the end of this video. So like any dedicated name nut I’ve been combing the list and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by many mid-popular names. What’s a mid-popular name? These are names that rank in the sweet spot, right around the middle of the Top 1,000 in spots 475 to 575. The great thing about a mid-popular name is that it’s usually familiar without being overly used. Here are a few name gems that rank right in the middle!

Benson – ranked at #474

Benson is an English surname meaning son of Ben. Of course you get the nickanames Ben, Benny, and Benji, without the popularity of Benjamin, the Number 6 most popular name. At 474 Benson dipped nearly 50 spots last year. Law & Order fans may be reminded of character Detective Olivia Benson when they hear this usable yet not overly used choice.

Blair – ranked at #511

Allow me to show my age in saying Blair will forever remind me of the character Blair Warner from the TV show The Facts of Life. Younger generations will recognize the name Blair from the show Gossip Girl. Blair took a small jump last year on the girls list rising ten spots to spot Number 511. Blair is a Scottish unisex name meaning dweller on the plain. It is not currently in the Top 1,000 for boys.

Colette – ranked at #531

Colette is one of the few names my partner and I both agree on and so it’s been on my personal name list for a few years. Colette is a chic, French feminine form of Nicholas meaning victory of the people. I love the nickname potential from Coco to Lettie or even Lottie. Colette decreased in popularity last year from 469 to 531.

Hattie – ranked at #480

If you love vintage old-timey diminutive names that Hattie is your girl. Originally a nickname for Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is slowly rising sitting today at Number 480. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in the epic film Gone with the Wind.

Leonidas – ranked at #498

I’m seeing lots of little Leo’s lately as Leo is now in the Top 100 and up over 70 spots in the last five years. If you love Leo and are looking for a large and unique show-stopper of a name, you may consider Leonidas! A Greek name meaning lion, Leonidas has a very strong, masculine sound. If Leo isn’t your bag of tea, Lee and Leon are other nickname contenders.

Liberty – ranked at #568

Word names are all the rage right now and Liberty is one of my favorites in the bunch. If I had a daughter born on the fourth of July I may be tempted to use Liberty. The nickname Libby is equally appealing as is Birdie. Liberty has never ranked higher than 406 and today ranks at 568.

Matilda – ranked at #521

I would use the name Matilda in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner. I love the nickname Tilly and the character in the Roald Dahl book and film. A German name meaning battle-worthy Matilda dropped almost 30 spots last year to 521. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger chose the name Milda Rose for their daughter born in 2005.

Otto – ranked at # 478

I recently met a baby named Otto which really endeared me to this old-timey little palindrome name. A German name meaning wealthy, Otto dipped in popularity after the second World War, but has steadily been climbing the past five years. Currently ranked at Nmber 478, Otto hasn’t been this popular since 1946.

Rhys – ranked at #477

Rhys is another long-time favorite of mine. Rhys is a handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Jonathan Rhys Meyers helped introduce this name to American audiences. Joey McIntyre chose the name Rhys Edward for his son born in 2009.

Wilder – ranker at #573

Are you wild about Wilder? I’ll be honest, it isn’t my style but I’m warming up to it and I do love the Laura Ingalls Wilder association. Many a name lover has Wilder on their list. Wilder is a rapidly rising name and will likely be too popular for my mid-popular names list in the years to come. Wilder first entered the Top 1,000 in 2015 and jumped nearly 400 spots to 573 just in two years!

What are your favorite mid-popular names?
Hear all about the New Most popular baby names in the US here:

 

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Rad Word Names for Boys A-Z

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All names are words so why not look at some words that make for intriguing name choices. Here are some rad word names for boys A to Z.

Arrow
Archers and fans of Robin Hood may enjoy this smooth choice.
119 boys and 71 girls were named Arrow last year.

Brave
A wonderful trait to bestow upon your little lad.
29 boys were named Brave last year.

Cove
A great sound for a beachy babe.
42 boys and 7 girls were named Cove last year.

Denim
Perfect for you blue jean baby.
117 boys and 62 girls were named Denim last year.

Ever
That cool Ev sound. Also a great nickname for Everest or Everett.
133 boys and 84 girls were named Ever last year.

Flint
A cool Finn alternative with a spark!
85 boys were named Flint last year.

Given
A great Gavin alternative and perfect for a Thanksgiving baby!
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Hawk
A strong bird name with a cool image
55 boys were named Hawk last year.

Icon
If only Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had heard this one.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Jett
For the guy on the go!
Currently Number 314 for boys.

Knight
For the dashing young lad.
50 boys were named Knight last year.

Link
Calling all Zelda fans.
145 boys were named Link last year.

Maven
Perhaps a cool Mason alternative? A bit more popular with the girls.
24 boys and 69 girls were named Maven last year.

Noble
A great virtuous choice.
140 boys and 15 girls were named Noble last year.

Oak
A strong, steady image.
40 boys were named Oak last year.

Post
A familiar sound but oh so rare.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Quest
For your little adventurer.
35 boys were named Quest last year.

Reverent
A Puritanical name with a strong meaning.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Stone
TV reporter Stone Phillips wears this name well.
177 boys and 8 girls were named Stone last year.

True
Understated with a great sound and meaning.
44 boys and 31 girls were named True last year.

Urban
Baby in the city.
35 boys were named Urban last year.

Valor
Warrior-worthy virtue name.
90 boys and 14 girls were named Valor last year.

West
An appealing sounding directional name.
72 boys were named West last year.

Xerox
Quirky and futuristic.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Yard
Simple, strong, and bold.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Zephyr
Breezy and cool.
124 boys and 20 girls were named Zephyr last year.

Which of these rad word names would make your list?

Surf’s Up – Beachy Baby Names

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Summer is officially here! Warmer weather lends itself to some pretty cool names.  Check out these beachy names for your little dude or dudette!

Ripley
A sweet surfer name that works on a boy or a girl, Ripley may remind beach-lovin’ parents of rippling waves. Ripley is an Old English surname meaning strip clearing. A cool alternative to the much more popular Riley, Ripley was only used by 97 little girls and 29 little boys last year.

Marina
Marina is a beautiful, melodic choice for your little water baby. A Latin name meaning from the sea, Marina is currently Number 656 in popularity. Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc gave his daughter the enchanting name Marina Pearl.

Sailor
Sailor is an occupational nautical name that may take off in the years to come. In the last year Bristol Palin used the name Sailor Grace for her daughter and Liv Tyler selected Sailor Gene for her son.  Kristin Cavallari chose the alternative spelling Saylor for her daughter, Saylor James, who was also born last year.  There were 234 girls and 42 boys named Sailor last year. Saylor is actually more popular, ranking at Number 608 for girls.

Coral
In addition to being a pretty summertime color, coral is a word name for underwater skeletal deposits which often form beautiful reefs. You may recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo. Last year 199 baby girls were given the first name Coral.

Morgan
Morgan is derived from a Welsh name meaning sea and circle, the perfect meaning for a little beach babe.  Traditionally a male name, Morgan currently ranks at Number 674 for boys and 120 for girls. Morgan le Fay was a powerful enchantress in Arthurian legend.

Reef
Reef not only has a cool sound, it’s also a great beach baby name for a bar of rock, sand, or coral beneath the water. Only 51 little boys were given this aquatic name last year. Reef is also the name of a popular sandal and clothing company that sells beach gear and active wear.

Ocean
If you’re a fan of the water and of word names, why not consider Ocean? A cool sound that brings to mind a lovely image, Ocean can easily work on either sex.  Last year 80 boys and 65 girls were given the first name Ocean. Other great similar names include Oceanus, Oceana, and Oceane.

Waverly
Waverly is one of my favorite names to say with its easy-breezy flow. Waverly has the word wave in it and has a smooth, laid-back sound. An English surname, Waverly means meadow of quivering aspens. Waverly hasn’t broken into the Top 1,000 yet. It was used by 120 girls and 6 boys last year.

Kai
Kai is a short and sweet name that is on the rise.  Kai not only has a cool sound, it’s also a name used in many cultures.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea, perfect for a sweet little swimmer.  Kai is currently Number 145 for boys and Number 895 for girls.

Finn
Finn is a great choice for your little fishy. Finn is derived from an Irish name meaning white or fair. Fin is currently Number 209 for boys. Several celebrities including Tori Spelling and Christy Turlington have used the name Finn for their sons.

Dylan
Dylan is a popular Welsh name meaning tide, flow, or son of the wave. A less obvious beach baby name, Dylan currently ranks at Number 27 for boys and Number 397 for girls. Dylan has many great namesakes including writer Dylan Thomas and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman).

Cove
If you’re looking for a smooth, underused nature name, than Cove may be it. A cove is a small bay or coastal inlet.  Only 53 little boys and 5 little girls were named Cove last year.  I can definitely picture this name on a little sun-kissed tike.

What are your favorite beachy baby names?

Best Names for Boys from the bottom of the charts

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Last week we explored some gorgeous girl’s names ranging between 900 and 1,000 in the charts. This week let’s find some inspiring choices for the fellas at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart.

Thatcher
Thatcher is an English surname and occupational name meaning a roof thatcher. Thatcher just entered the US Top 1,000 in 2013 and currently ranks at Number 902. Thatcher makes for a fresh choice and alternative to similar sounding occupational surnames like Carter or Sawyer. Thatcher always reminds me of Becky Thatcher, the leading lady in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Grey
Any fans of Grey’s Anatomy out there? Grey is a smooth color name that just entered the Top 1,000 in 2013.  Currently Number 916, Grey is one of my favorite middle names, and sounds good with many longer first names. Grey is also being used as a nickname for Greyson, which currently ranks at Number 111.

Keenan
Keenan may remind you of comedians Keenan Ivory Wayans and Kenan Thompson. An Irish name meaning ancient, Keenan currently ranks at Number 931. Keenan peaked in 1997 when it reached Number 354, but has steadily declined every year since.

Boone
Boone first entered the Top 1,000 last year and is currently the highest it has ever ranked at Number 940. Boone is an English surname derived from a French name meaning a blessing.  Boone has a cool cowboy feel and may conjure up images of frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Cairo
Cairo gets double cool points for being a place name and ending in the smooth letter o. Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and means victorious in Arabic.  Cairo first entered the Top 1,000 last year, when it peaked at Number 941.

Seamus
There are many high-ranking handsome Irish names.  If you’d love to honor your Irish heritage, but want something a bit less used, you may consider Seamus.  Seamus is an Irish form of James meaning supplanter that currently ranks at Number 948. Seamus is the name of a Pink Floyd song and a character from Harry Potter.

Anton
Anton is a German and Scandinavian form of Anthony, meaning priceless.  Anton is Number 960, much less popular than Antony at Number 25. Anton may remind you of Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno or writer Anton Chekhov.

Wilder
People are wild about Wilder! Wilder was one of the fastest rising names last year, jumping 360 spots and making its debut in the Top 1,000 at Number 964.  Wilder is a surname and a word name that could be associated with the lovable namesakes Laura Ingalls Wilder or Gene Wilder.

Truman
Truman is an English surname meaning loyal or trusty man.  Truman peaked in 1945, the year Harry S. Truman, the 33rd US President took term.  Currently Number 981 in popularity, Truman has been declining in popularity.  The hip nickname True may make Truman feel fresh to modern parents.

Gilbert
My love of the name Gilbert stems from my love of the character Gilbert Blythe in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables book series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledged, currently ranked at Number 983. Gilbert peaked in 1930, but has dropped several spots in recent years.

What are your favorite names ranking from 900 to 1,000?

Great Girls Names from the bottom of the charts

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Looking for a familiar but not overused name for your little lady? You may find some inspiration at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart.  Check out these underused gems for girls ranging from 900 to 1,000 in popularity.

Paloma
Paloma, pronounced pah-LO-mah, is a Spanish name meaning dove.  Currently Number 906 in popularity, Paloma dropped 37 spots in the last year.  Actors David Caruso and Ana Ortiz both used the name Paloma for their daughters.  Perhaps one of the most recognizable namesakes is Paloma Picasso, jewelry designer and daughter of Pablo Picasso.

Louisa
Louisa peaked in 1900 at Number 271.  Today Louisa ranks at spot Number 908. A feminine form of Louis, meaning renowned warrior, Louisa comes with a slew of sweet vintage nicknames.  Love Lulu, Lulie, Lou, or Louie? Louisa is a great way to get to “Lu” nicknames.  Louisa is also a cool alternative to Lucy, which has continuously risen the past 10 years and ranks at Number 55.

Arden
Arden is one of the two names on my list here today that doesn’t end in the letter a.  Arden is an English surname stemming from a Celtic word meaning high. Arden is a unisex name and has a similar sound to popular names like Aiden, but ranks at Number 912 for girls. Shakespeare’s fans may recognize Arden as the name of the forest in As You Like It.

Wendy
Wendy made a significant drop last year, falling 154 spot to Number 936. Wendy peaked in 1970 and though it isn’t popular now, it doesn’t quite give off a granny vibe yet either. Sir James Barrie invented the name Wendy for the kind, motherly, old sister in his iconic play Peter Pan. Prior to the play Wendy may have also been used as a nickname for Gwendolen.

Tabitha
Tabitha is an Aramaic name meaning gazelle currently ranked at Number 947.  You may recognize Tabitha as the mother from Bewitched or the free-spirited girl in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  Tabitha is also the Biblical name of a New Testament woman who was restored to life by Saint Peter.  Tabby, Tibby, and Bitty are a few cutesy nicknames Tabitha lends itself to.

Cordelia
If you love vintage names and Anne of Green Gables as I do, you may consider Cordelia. Cordelia is the name Anne Shirley would have renamed herself.  Cordelia may be Celtic meaning daughter of the sea, or have Latin roots meaning heart.  Cordelia fell out of the Top 1,000 in 1951, just returning in 2014, and currently ranks at Number 948.

Lilia
A Russian form of Lily, Lilia is the perfect choice for people who love Lily but want something less popular.  Lilia is currently Number 958, while Lily comes in at Number 25. Lilia has never been very popular, peaking in 1928 when it reached Number 752.  Lilia is also great alternative to other more popular repeating L names for girls like Layla, Lila, and Liliana.

Elora
I recently posted about the name Elora on my Instagram account (@tulipbyanyname) and it received an overwhelmingly positive response.  Elora was the name of the darling infant in the fantasy film Willow. Possibly derived from Eliora or Eleanora, Elora would be a great way to honor a Laura or Laurence.  Elora first entered the Top 1,000 last year at Number 963.

Lyra
A Greek name meaning lyre, Lyra is the name of a constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. Lyra just entered the Top 1,000 for the first time last year at Number 984. Lyra is the name of the main character in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and film The Golden Compass.

Rhea
Mythology fans will recognize the name Rhea, a Greek name meaning flowing down.  In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan and mother to Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus.  In Roman mythology Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus.  At Number 989 Rhea was given to just 270 little girls last year.

What are your favorite names ranking from 900 to 1,000?

Marvelous Moon Names

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If you’re looking for a grand celestial name you may want to take inspiration from the moons of other planets.  Moon names have great Shakespearean and mythological ties.  Let’s explore some fabulous moon names!

What are you favorite moon names?

Word Names for Writers

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I’ve noticed that several baby name enthusiasts have a passion for writing. Many writers enter the world of baby names while researching potential character names. I thought it would be fun to look at some wonderful word names related to the art of writing.

Story
Story seems like it should be a hipster favorite.  A unisex word name, meaning a narrative, Story has a whimsical vibe.  Though Story may seem a bit too out there to many parents, it does share the same ending sound as familiar names like Lori and Corey. Actress Jenna Elfman named one of her sons Story Elias.  If Story feels to bold as a first name, you may consider pairing it with a more traditional first name, like actress Minnie Driver who named her little one, Henry Story.

Read
Can a name also be a verb? Why not? There’s Reid and Reed, so why not Read? A simple spelling twist ensures that this name has a recognizable sound, but different meaning. A cool name for a lover of literature. Reid is the most popular spelling at #259, followed closely by Reed at #317, while Read is not ranked in the top 1,000.

Page
Page is another recognizable name, a slight spelling variation of Paige.  Page is both an occupational name, meaning an attendant to a Lord, and a term for a sheet of paper. A subtle book tie in with either spelling.  Page Hopkins, a television journalist, wears this name well.

Penn
Penn may remind you of illusionist Penn Jillette, or actor Penn Badgley. Penn is an English word meaning enclosure.  It also mirrors the sound of pen, a writing instrument.  Penn has a similar sound to Ben, and would make a cool alternative to the rising name, Finn.  Is the Penn mightier than the sword? I’m not sure, but I do think it’s one of the more usable names on this list.

Press
Hot off the Press! There are many definitions of this interesting word name, but a printing press is what comes to mind when I think of writers.  Not sure about using Press on it’s own? Try Presley, Prescott, or Preston.  All give you the cool, subtle nod to published word.

Poet
A word name and occupational name with a romantic feel to it. Actress Soleil Moon Frye used the name Poet Sienna Rose for one of her daughters.  Poet seems like a name that should be a celebrity favorite.  It could easily work on either gender.

Sonnet
If you thought Poet was cool, then you might like Sonnet.  Sonnet is an inviting choice for avid readers and writers. The word Sonnet is derived from an Italian word meaning little song.  A beautiful sound and meaning, Forest Whitaker named his daughter Sonnet Noel.

Fable
Fable almost has a virtuous quality to it. A fable is a short story, often with animals, that is used to convey a moral.  A nice meaning and a quirky, yet usable name.  Blogger Rebecca Wolf named her daughter Fable Luella.

Writer
I really like the sound of the word Writer.  A Writer is someone who has written text. As a name, it has the same feel as Ryder and Wilder to me.  It follows the occupational trend and ends in the popular “er” ending.

Quill
A Quill is a writing instrument often made using a feather.  A lovely tool to write with and an interesting name. Q also makes for an interesting initial.  Quill could also work as a nickname for Quiller or Quillan.  I’d love to meet a little Quill!

Write On!
~Meagan